Being a successful company is just as much about creating a product or offering a service as it is about supporting the community around your brand. This starts with learning what your customers need to best nurture relationships which will enhance your business and help it grow without committing an egregious faux pas. This means working behind the scenes to always offer a better community experience.
Collaborating with your support team and other teams to improve every element of the customer experience only improves your product and brand reputation. We’ve found three key ingredients to avoid a social media misstep:
Stay In Touch With Your Team
Be proactive in your internal communications, so the entire team stays abreast of the product roadmap and upcoming updates. When the time comes to support those updates, the team will be informed and ready. Internal communications, like Teamwork Chat, which happen at the speed of light, is vital for proactive solutions of problems for which every second counts. Keeping your support team informed of any updates, issues, or potential changes is a proactive approach that will only assist them in dealing with any customer questions.
Staying in touch internally also extends to ongoing communications, updates, and newsletters that share news and information about progress and impending improvements to products, so when those changes roll out you can support them fully. This means that when you are representing your company online and a customer has a question, you are fully informed as you craft your response.
An example of consistent voice and response time is Innocent Smoothie’s Twitter account. The team behind the tweets has faced down negativity with their trademark fruity flare and naturally sweet tone which is suitable for all ages. Particularly good lesson in intracompany communications is knowing where a product is available and at what price. Recently, Innocent Smoothies were promoted and a Twitter user in Germany expressed disappointment she couldn’t get it where she was, but the person behind the Innocent Twitter account knew it did distribute to Germany, though the item would not be discounted there as it was in the United Kingdom. You can read that exchange here.
Social Media Will Bring You Up To Speed
A 2014 study by American Express states that, “Two in five Americans (42%) say that a recommendation from a friend or family member is most likely to get them to try doing business with a new company, even more than a sale or promotion (34%) or a company’s reputation (15%).”
With social media, however, your customers are not just interacting with their neighbors or colleagues, their network is far-reaching and global. This is the best thing ever when you are on top of things and nothing ever goes wrong; but when there is a hiccup with your support or a major fail in your operations, the speed with which you resolve the issue and respond to customers is all that matters. It has never been easier to talk or interact with your customers and, with that, it is now more imperative to create a space for you and your customers to interact. Social media means you will get instant feedback and suggestions from your fans.
There are numerous companies doing this well, from corporations to retailers, but one that stands out for the levity and connectivity is Pizza Hut. An example of their enthusiasm for a job well done came when Robbie who ordered pizza and was impressed by the delivery man, named Kevin, so he shouted it from the rooftops. You can read it in this exchange.
Represent Your Brand as a Team
For consistency, decide on two or three people to represent your company on the front lines through social media, then have them portray the personality of your brand through social media and support. One person isn’t enough as that can create eventual burnout, or being left without support if he or she is sick or on vacation.
Above all else, you are the face and voice of your company when interacting with any customer, so put your best self forward. This means setting aside emotional reactions and reacting calmly and thoughtfully, without personal bias. Calm and proactive responses will only help resolve a customer support ticket and with social media present in almost any customer’s hands, this can escalate a satisfying support interaction to be literally someone shouting from the rooftops about how wonderful your company is.
It isn’t just the person behind the social media profiles making a difference, it is the entire company as a whole. Like when Alex Silberman, a JetBlue customer, was having travel hiccups and after an exchange of tweets with the airline, on-ground staff sought him out from his avatar picture to check on him and give him a welcome kit to alleviate the stress of his delay. You can see the resulting tweet here.
Remember that any interaction can be a pleasant exchange, not just for a support issue, and helps keep customers and potential customers at the forefront. The important thing is to stay calm, be proactive, and remember that your customers are your community and staying connected and positive with them is paramount to your company’s success.
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